The Festive Five

photo by Cassie Weymouth

Jackie Sibila, Staff Writer

The holidays are approaching fast but with rising COVID cases many are struggling to find ways to be festive this winter. Now I’m sure my fellow extraverts (and maybe introverts too) are all just itching to get out of the house, but it can be challenging to find a COVID friendly site this holiday season when planning your walk in a winter wonderland. 

Even though new restrictions have been put in place, there are some festive areas close to Timonium that you can visit. While this holiday season may not be the same experience that many of us are used to, here are some of my favorite holiday activities in Maryland, including an activity for all the people who’d rather stay home!

1. The Hampden’s 34th Street otherwise known as “Miracle on 34th street”

A visit to Hampden is a sure way to fill your life with light (quite literally) and cheer! Every year on 34th street, locals decorate their houses with a display of bright lights and creative Christmas lawn decorations. The Miracle on 34th street has been a fun holiday tradition for 73 years and attracts many visitors every holiday season. The lights get turned on when the sun goes down and this event goes through December 31st. A popular way to view the light display is to stay in your car and drive down the street, making this a very safe activity!

2. Train Garden at Kenilworth Mall

Kenilworth Mall. “Annual Train Garden Display.” The Shops at Kenilworth, 19 Nov. 2020,

A must see this holiday season is the annual train garden at Kenilworth Mall. Open from November 3rd to January 4th, this magical train display has everything from hot air balloons to ice skaters, mini villages and life-like towns. Though this attraction is inside, you’ll be happy to know that they are taking many COVID precautions. Masks must be worn at all times, tickets are required to enter to see the trains and must be reserved and cleaning takes place between each visitor.  

3. Doyle’s Christmas Tree Farm

photo by Jackie Sibila

Whether you need a tree or not, Christmas tree farms can be super fun to visit. Even if you do not celebrate Christmas, they make for a great place to visit just to take pictures, hang out and have a good time. You can enjoy time outside with family and friends while looking for your very own Charlie Brown Christmas tree to give some love to. This Christmas tree farm is open all through December on Saturdays and Sundays and masks are required, keeping COVID at bay!


4. Festival of Lights at Watkins Regional Park

Office of Parks and Rec. “Watkins Regional Park in Maryland.” Facebook, Prince George’s County MD, 22 Jan. 2015,

You can never get enough of light displays during the holidays and a trip to the Festival of Lights at Watkins Regional Park will be sure to satisfy your needs. This is a drive-thru event spanning from November 27th to January 1st so not only is it COVID friendly but you have plenty of time to visit before or after the holidays. Pack up the car and enjoy driving around with your friends or family and taking in the 2.5 million lights that make up a Christmas display over the duration of your drive!

5. Your neighborhood

Vaughan, Kelly. These Are the Most Popular Christmas Cookies Across the United States—Peanut Butter Blossoms Topped the List!, 11 Dec. 2019,

Like the song says, “There’s no place like home for the holidays.” While it’s true that most of us are home literally all day and are fed up with being at our houses there’s something pleasant about putting on some holiday tunes and baking cookies. Nothing beats fresh baked treats straight from the oven with the gift, or curse, of family. Neighborhood decorations could also be comforting to see and a great way to get fresh air and spend time with your loved ones. With these activities you won’t have to worry about COVID, so get some oven mitts or get outside, and enjoy these homebody holiday activities.